Wicked Wednesday-The Unexplained

Jessie: In New Hampshire, tucking the last bulbs into the ground before it freezes!

During October we are discussing The Unexplained. So, Wickeds, have you ever had an experience you just couldn’t explain?

Edith/Maddie: It happens occasionally right here at my desk. Seriously, how is it that I can write characters doing things that surprise me – and the words came through my own fingertips? It feels so much like the characters really are alive and are guiding what I write. And I don’t know how that comes about. I love it and am delighted by it, but it mystifies me every time.

Sherry: Edith, I agree that writing often seems mystical. I met some friends in my hometown of Davenport, Iowa a few years ago. We stayed in this beautiful, old art deco hotel in the downtown area. Cary Grant was staying there when he died so it’s rumored that he haunts the hotel. A friend and I were in her room when there was a knock on the door. She answered but no one was there. We both looked up and down the hall. No one was in it and because it’s an older hotel, there weren’t any hiding places in the hall. We closed the door, went to sit down, and both felt this light breeze brush by. We looked at each other and said, “Hi, Cary.” I’ve always thought it might make a fun premise for a paranormal cozy–a hotel manager who can see Cary Grant.

Liz: I’ve always wanted to have a haunted hotel experience, Sherry! At a former job I used to have to travel to Dubuque, IA every so often. There was this amazing hotel there called the Julien where I absolutely loved to stay. Al Capone allegedly owned the hotel while he was a mob boss in Chicago and used to escape there for quiet time pretty often. I always hoped he was there haunting the place and awaited evidence, but alas never saw anything spooky.

Julie: Edith, I agree about the magic of ideas. And Sherry, if you’re going to be haunted, Cary Grant is a good way to go. Many years ago, I lived in an apartment that had a poltergeist. I’d noticed things, but didn’t say anything to my roommate. I’d not be able to find a strand of pearls, then I’d find them in the living room under a cushion. Unexplained noises. That sort of thing. She’d apparently had the same issue–flashing lights in mirrors. One day we were both standing in the living room arguing, and a can of roach spray that was on top of the refrigerator (it was that kind of apartment) flew between us and hit the wall. I was never able to explain that.

Barb: The B&B my mother-in-law ran in Boothbay Harbor, Maine (and that my husband and I later owned) was rumored to be haunted by the sister of Captain Murray, the original owner of the house. Some people believed this, I emphasize. Miss Murray haunted Room 2, which, given the layout of the bedrooms, logically could have been hers. My husband and I almost never slept there, but one weekend we had a family gathering and every other room was full, so we stayed in Room 2. Our cocker spaniel MacKenzie was with us. He whined, paced around on his toenails, and panted all night. None of us were getting any sleep. We didn’t want to let him out of the room because we were afraid he would bark at a guest who got up in the night or went down early to breakfast. But finally, at dawn, we could stand it no longer. As soon as we opened the door, MacKenzie ran out, flung himself down in the hall and immediately fell into a deep sleep. I still say there were squirrels in the walls, but other people insist…

The Murray family in front of the house in 1879.

Jessie: I love all your stories! And I agree with magically inexplicable ideas and writing flow. I always feel so blessed when it happens to me. Some of my most intriguing experiences have been auditory. I have had two times in my life where a voice in my left ear has kept me from real harm in a vehicular accident. I cannot explain it in the least but I believe, in the first case at leasr, that I owe it my life.

Readers, have you ever had an experience you could not explain?

18 Thoughts

  1. First of all, Sherry, you need to write that Cary Grant cozy!

    My own “unexplained” occurrences have involved animals. One time, I looked at my cat but saw the face of my friend’s kitty, Miss Jenna, whom I kitty sat on occasion and who loved me. That cat and mine looked NOTHING alike and I blinked and thought it strange…until a few hours later, that friend called to tell me her cat had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I asked her when, and she told me the time. Yep. Exactly when I saw her sweet, whiskery face looking at me through my cat. I have no doubt Miss Jenna stopped at my house to say goodbye on her way to the Bridge.

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  2. Oooh spooky ooky, i love the stories!! I agree with Annette, Sherry should write the Cary Grant cozy! Barb, I just love that house, the front porch is incredible!
    I’ve had an experience with hearing footsteps going up a wall where there was no staircase (owners had renovated an old house, removed the staircase, but evidently “someone” didn’t realize it). Pretty spooky to me!

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  3. Yes, Sherry, definitely write that Cary Grant cozy. I’ve been watching old movies this week – he was so elegant. He’d be the perfect gentleman ghost.

    When I was 9 we lived in a house that had an attic accessed by a hatch in the top of a closet. My mother sent me up there for something. When I got up there, I saw my cat. Mr. Jinx was a white persian, hard to miss. I came out of that attic hatch like a streak of lightening to find my cat, sitting on my bed looking at me. I have no idea why he I saw him up there, my brother thought it might be a ferret. I was certain it was Mr. Jinx.

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  4. Put me on the list of people who want Sherry to write the Cary Grant cozy.

    My sophomore year at college, I lived in a building that used to be the friary and one was said to have died in my room (nothing violent, just natural death). There was a cold spot over the closet that nothing would stick to – not even when using duct tape. The phone would ring at odd times and there wouldn’t be anything on the end – no dial tone, buzzing, breathing, nothing. The door would swing open (it was too heavy to be blown open). We took to saying, “George, knock it off” when anything weird happened.

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  5. When I was a teenager, long before cell phones or call waiting, I would often call my best friend & get a busy signal – because she was calling me at the same time! I learned to hang up & call back whenever I got a busy signal. A few years later a friend saw “me” on a ski lift in Switzerland, guess I have a doppelganger there!

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  6. I was invited to visit and knit with residents of Mary Sibley Hall at Lindenwood U. They told me of music, sightings, and someone (Mary S) breaking a fall on the stairs . . . looking out for her “girls.” I heard nothing while I was there, but we had a good time, and said I was “awesome.”
    I did hear an odd repeated knocking while trying to sleep in the lounge on the Delta Queen. It could have been the ghost of Captain Mary Becker Green watching over me, as she watched over passengers for many years. More of the story here, under the photos of the paddlewheel and me knitting on deck. https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/steamin-storytellers-on-the-delta-queen/

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  7. I was visiting my daughter and her family. Their youngest was three years old at the time. He was riding his tricycle around the house. He went to his room and we could hear him talking. A few seconds later he back out and asked, “is it okay if I talk to ‘ed and ‘orthy?”
    I said, “Sure. Go head.”
    He gave me a sly smile. “Timmy brung them.”
    What is so strange about this is that Timmy was a boy who drowned in the area before the house was built in the 1970s. There had been an older house on the property when it was sold to a developer for the subdivision.
    Now that ‘ed and ‘rothy? Those were his great grandparents, Fred and Dorothy who died in the house.
    What is scarier yet, is that a month before, the family had gone to visit some friends in PA where they took care of a farm. They used the big farm house for showers since the one where they lived didn’t work. As they were walking through, this kid stopped at an open door. He stood there and asked, “What’s wrong with the lady?”
    His father looked in the room but didn’t see anyone.
    He again asked, “What’s wrong with the lady? She looks funny.”
    His dad said, “I don’t know. Let’s leave her be and hurried him off down the hall.
    They found out later a woman had been killed in that room in the chair that their son was looking at.
    Timmy was a constant guest in their home until they moved. He and their son would play and you would here one side of the conversation. What is scary was when he threw sand at Timmy and somehow sand was thrown back at him. That one I saw since I was baby sitting at the time. There was no wind and no explanation. Calmly, I told them to stop throwing sand before they got it in their eyes. My grandson, looked at where the sand had come from and said, “She’ll make me go inside.” ‘They’ played nicely for an other half hour.
    If you asked him what Timmy looked like, he gave you what a kid back in the early 1900s would be wearing.
    Draw your own conclusions, but according to his mother, he still sees people in places where no one else can see them.

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  8. When I was fifteen and had my driver’s permit, an older friend of my family, who umpired little league baseball, asked my parents if I could go with him to a Little League tournament and drive him home afterwards. It was a three hour drive from where I live. We were there before the tournament started. I took a book and read or walked around all day. We left there after dark. Since it was summer that meant after nine. Driving over the pass, it was a bit foggy. Louie was asleep in the passenger side. Out of the fog a man in buckskins with a long beard and a stick in his hand walked into the road. I slammed on the brakes. The man was gone. Louie woke up and asked what happened. I didn’t want to sound like I’d been daydreaming rather than driving, so I said a deer had jumped into the road.

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  9. I don’t know how woo-woo my experiences have been, but I sure have had a lot of amazing ones that seem to come out of nowhere. I seldom tell anyone about them because I get a glazed look that says, “Yeah, right.” I’m told that I have these experiences because I have an aura of goodness. Hmmm. Don’t know about that, but whatever it is, I”m glad I have them.

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  10. Yes. We lived across the street from my Mom in an apartment. The unit next to ours caught fire. Our dog woke me up. There was a gentleman that knocked on my Mom’s door. He called her by name telling her that I needed her. She looked through the peep hole, but did not answer the door. When I left our apartment, I saw a gentleman walking away toward the corner. No one else saw this gentleman. When my Mom called in the fire, she was told it was already reported.

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